An introduction to the roles and responsibilities of government regulators / market surveillance authorities in connection with the design, construction, supply and use of new and second-hand products, whether for use by people at work or by members of the public.
Government regulatory authorities are responsible for undertaking market surveillance to ensure the safety of products when they are placed on the market or brought into use, either by people at work or by members of the public.
In appropriate circumstances, you (market surveillance authority staff), will take action to ensure health and safety using statutory powers provided for the purpose. Where formal action is taken to prohibit or restrict the free trade of CE-marked products, you must notify the European Commission immediately through the UK Representative to the EU.
There are a number of European Product Safety Directives which provide a minimum common European framework for new products when first placed on the market or put into service. These are enacted into UK supply law where the statutory powers of the market surveillance authority (MSA) for the product are defined - along with criminal penalties that may be imposed on those in the supply chain (normally the manufacturer or their authorised representative) - where non-compliance is proved.
An overarching European Regulation (EC Regulation No. 765/2008) further specifies the roles and responsibilities of those dealing with market surveillance activity. These include communication and co-ordination obligations between MSAs and others - such as Customs and border control authorities - both within individual member states, between member states of the EU / EEA, and with the European Commission.
These matters are explained in further detail in the supporting pages of this site. In particular, links to the relevant European / UK law and guidance are provided for each topic area, and an outline is given of the way HSE is organised to undertake market surveillance. These pages also cover the law on the use of work equipment by people at work, and the links between supply and use law are also explored (eg the link between PUWER regulation 10 and recital 7 of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC).